“Don’t be Nice, Be Real –
Balancing Passion for Self w/Compassion for Others.
A Handbook to compassionate communication”
by Kelly Bryson MA,
To find out more about Kelly Bryson and his book, click on the below links.
Kelly Bryson’s Biography: Dedicated
to teaching the Language of Compassion –
I. Synopsis of the book,
II. List of Articles (to Publish),
III. Press Releases
IV. Book Back Cover Text
V. An interview article from Shape Magazine from Kelly
Don’t Be Nice, BE REAL: Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others
Don’t Be Nice, Be Real is a lively, light approach to a deadly serious subject – our lives. It is a mix of humor, radical wisdom, and new culture spirituality. It is about Compassion without Compromise. The book teaches the mechanics and expresses the spirit of Nonviolent Compassionate Communication (NVC) to cure “Nice-itis,” a hereditary disease. So many nice people feel powerless and victimized by the people and circumstances of their lives. They would love to rise up and take the power back in their lives, however the only model for being powerful in our culture is a violent “power over others” model. Almost every TV show, movie, fairy tale, video game, or recent book replays the “Myth of Redemptive Violence” where the good guy hurts or kills the bad guy to resolve the conflict. There basically are no positive images of conflict in our culture. No wonder so many of us chose to become one of the ‘nice dead people’ in the world rather than participate in the only game offered – emotional or physical violence.
This book is all about showing the incredibly creative, powerful possibilities for people to learn to negotiate their needs with strength and compassion. I do this through the sharing of many powerful and moving stories of how Compassionate Nonviolent Communication(sm) was used to transform conflict into compassionate connection and creative resolution. I do not teach abstract theory – but instead demonstrate practical principles for translating all judgements back into the tragic expressions of pain and unmet needs that they are. This is the lost language of humanity which is based upon the nonhierarchical expression of observations, feelings, needs, and requests. These stories and insights come from my 30 years as a family systems therapist, 12 years as a monk with an ashram, and 18 years as an authorized trainer with the International Centers for Nonviolent Communication(sm). I have field-tested the truths in this book working with street gangs in San Diego, and combined groups of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East, and among the Croats, Serbs, and Muslims of the Balkans during the Bosnian war. The principles outlined in the book have served me well as I have worked with groups of hundreds of angry parents and San Diegans after the school shootings, custody battles, and the most difficult of all – certain church boards, school boards and
The book describes how Nonviolent Compassionate Communication™ (NVC) is not only a communication process, it is a spirituality, a consciousness and a
practical philosophy. There are stories and explanations about how to use NVC to create deep healing forgiveness, surround sound, techni-color intimacy, compassionate self motivation as opposed to self coercion, and playful mindfulness instead of time scarcity.
As Don’t Be Nice – Be Real unfolds, values, skills and principles emerge that can act as a guiding North Star to a more fully lived life. These are the values of passionate compassion and partnership instead of the profiteering and punishment our culture offers. These values honor individuals and others, instead of teaching us that we must sacrifice ourselves for love and the good of others, which of course sets us at odds with our own human nature.
I want to change the connotation our culture gives the word selfish. Ayn Rand writing of humanity in the latter part of the 20th century said that “the current popular usage of the word selfish is a synonym of evil” and “is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind.” Understanding this foundational truth she identified, the last chapters of my book illustrate how our life force and creativity become captured and controlled to serve the political purposes of our androcratic (male dominated) Dominator culture. I describe how our punishment/reward education systems, our static judgmental mental health systems, and our sex/life fearing religious systems all collude to create a repressive and violent culture of nice, compulsive conformity. I give a history of the defeat of the female sex, compassion and Eros to help clarify the nature of the prevailing paradigm of male/female relationship which is based upon unconscious, possessiveness and control. Understanding of this dynamic, the pain it creates and the love it prevents can help pave the way for the creation of new community groups that support the partnership relationships we are all craving.
Included in Don’t Be Nice, Be Real are guiding principles and mechanics needed to create the small communities that are needed to allow deep personal love and individual creativity to flourish. I show the linkage between fear, possessiveness, the repression of the feminine and sexuality and violence on the individual and collective level in our society. Included in the principles and practices I map out for individual and group harmony are transparency in communication, integration instead of deamonization, empathy, prevention and cures for jealousy, love without conditions, and a guiding morality based upon consensus instead of coercion, compassion not control, and pleasure instead of pain.
List of Articles:
(Available by email to you for
publication, taken from my book:)
When Push comes to Hug
It takes a village to raise a relationship
Love American Style in the Taliban Tradition
Do you want to be Right or have a meaningful Relationship
Our Culture doesn’t work anymore, We need a new one!
Free Love – Before it is too late
On Apathy, Community and Consumerism
Don’t Be Nice Be Real
Healing the Blame that Blinds
How therapists become “they’re pisseds’”
(each article is @ 1,500 words)
III. Press Releases:
Issued 9/23 via PR Newswire for their Women’s Issues features pack
Empowering Message for Women From Conflict Resolution Expert:
Don’t Be Nice — Be REAL
Balancing Passion for Self With Compassion for Others
SAN DIEGO, CA – It’s an all too common syndrome: the tendency to “be
nice” at the expense of getting one’s needs met. And, ultimately,
becoming a doormat leads to feeling powerless and victimized by other people and
circumstances. So what’s a well-intentioned woman to do?
According to therapist turned author Kelly Bryson, MA, MFT, “Don’t Be
Nice – Be REAL!” Which is also the title of his new book (APC Books,
October, $15.00), available online as well as in bookstores nationwide.
Bryson, a family systems therapist and international conflict resolution
specialist feels this empowering message is especially geared to women ages
27-62 who are ready to understand and acknowledge that the primary problem in
their relationships is “self abandonment.” Now, finally, this book
gives women permission to not only be selfish but appreciate the spirituality
of selfishness by learning the healthy art of compassion without compromise.
“We all need to learn to dance in rhythm to the beat of our own soul and
to develop skills that permit us to enjoy it when others freak out.” Next,
according to Bryson, we need to “…evolve our selfishness so as to
balance getting our short term needs met while staying in harmony with those
around us.” Don’t Be Nice, Be REAL: Balancing Passion For Self With
Compassion For Others, A Handbook For Compassionate Communication draws from
his own real world experience which includes serving as a conflict resolution
trainer for nearly two decades in hot spots around the globe — including
Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Palestine — in association with the
International Centers for Nonviolent Communication(sm).
With chapters like “How to rock the boat without drowning anyone,”
Bryson helps move the reader toward genuine intimacy that results from sharing
who you truly are with those in your life. Learning to shift from an angry,
defensive, and controlling mode to relationships based upon compassionate
authenticity is accomplished with humor as well as practical instruction.
Through workshops and national speaking engagements Bryson has also taught
his communication techniques to a diverse array of businesses and groups
including Paul Mitchell Systems, Tony Robbins Research International, and
Bristol-Myers Squibb as well as the National Conference of Christians and Jews,
National Montessori Convention, and the University of Belgrade.
# # #
Company: The Center for Compassion
NOTE TO EDITORS: 5-city book tour commences third week in October to
Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, and Orange County. Kelly Bryson,
MA, MFT, is available for broadcast or print interviews. Review copies and book
Contact: (Ms.) “Sam” Jernigan, Renaissance Consultations
707.591.9202 (West coast), sam@MarketingAndPR.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Relations Contact: (Ms.) Sam Jernigan
Conflict Resolution Expert’s Advice: Don’t Be Nice – Be REAL
Balancing Passion for Self With Compassion for Others
San Diego, CA — Righteous men violently killed or injured nearly
4,000 powerless people on 9/11, but then again on 9/12, 9/13, 9/14, yesterday
and, yes, today. In fact every day over 4,000 powerless wives and children are
killed or injured by righteous husbands with only an un-televised whisper of
protest from religious and secular leaders. What is the broader hidden lesson of
Kelly Bryson, MFT, family therapist turned author says there is a significant
link between intimate violence and international violence. All over the world
dominator cultures, like the Taliban, employ fundamentalist “family
values” to propagate the domination of men over women and parents over
children through use of systematic terror, violence, and punishment. These are
the true terrorist training camps: spawning “nice” (but hate filled)
obedient martyr/soldiers, whether they be Muslim, Jew or Christian (as in
Bryson’s soon-to-be released title, Don’t Be Nice, Be REAL: Balancing
Passion For Self With Compassion For Others, A Handbook For Compassionate
Communication (October, APC Books – available in bookstores nationwide and
online) draws heavily from his own real world experience which includes serving
as a conflict resolution trainer for nearly two decades in hot spots around the
globe — including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Palestine — in association
with the International Centers for Nonviolent Communication(sm).
He urges us to be proactive in chopping at the real roots of terrorism and
violence which are the family, school and social systems worldwide, which use
coercive methods to create order. Do you want to be a part of that change we all
seek to see in the world? Then ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you so afraid of conflict?
- Why are you harsh with yourself?
- Why are intimate relationships so difficult?
Bryson says it is because we too have been terrorized in our families and
institutions into being “nice dead people” or “emotional
terrorists.” Most have had few examples of intimate relationships rooted in
equality or known the peace that is possible through nonviolent conflict
resolution. Many of use were instead taught rigid gender-specific roles
requiring women to put on a “nice guise”, which makes them door mats,
and men to become “tough guise” (guys) who alienate people.
Do we have to choose between victim-hood or violence? How can we find
REAL power and balance? Bryson says it is by expressing our “real”
selves, through Nonviolent Compassionate Communication — the evolutionary new
process that is sweeping the globe. It is called the “Lost Language of
Humanity” and shows the way back to cooperation based upon compassion and
naked honesty in our relationships and in the world.
A family systems therapist for 30 years, Bryson has also taught his
communication techniques (www.LanguageOfCompassion.com)
to a diverse array of businesses and groups including Paul Mitchell Systems,
Tony Robbins Research International, and Bristol-Myers Squibb as well as the
National Conference of Christians and Jews, National Montessori Convention, and
the University of Belgrade among numerous others.
# # #
IV. Book Back Cover Text:
DON’T BE NICE – BE REAL: BALANCING PASSION FOR SELF WITH COMPASSION FOR
OTHERS; A HANDBOOK FOR COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION
Author: Kelly Bryson, MFT (male)
Publisher: APC Books (distribution by: Anthroposophic Press)
Pub. date: December 2002
Genre: Psychology/Personal Growth/Relationships
Price: $15.00 (U.S.)
Binding: trade paper
BACK COVER TEXT:
“This book is a must read if you want to move beyond
diagnosticcategories, and toward the intimacy that comes from genuinely sharing
your reality. Kelly Bryson speaks with authority about how to shift,
from angry defensiveness and control, to relationships based on
— Brad Blanton, Ph.D.author of Practicing Radical Honesty
and co-author (with Neale Donald Walsch) of Honest To God
You are holding in your hands some of the most powerful interpersonal secrets
and techniques ever articulated. Kelly Bryson has used these methods to create
radical shifts in extreme situations: Street gangs in San Diego, combined groups
of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, Palestinians and Israelis in
the Middle East, and among the Croats, Serbs, and Muslims of the Balkans during
the Bosnian war. They have worked with groups of angry parents after school
shootings. They have solved marital custody battles. And best of all, they can
make huge changes in your life the first day you begin to apply them.
Are you afraid of conflict?
Do you ever feel powerless in the face of circumstances?
Do you ever feel victimized by other people?
Are you tired of being one of the “nice dead people” in the world?
This book teaches you the mechanics and spirit of Nonviolent Compassionate
Communication to cure Niceitis,” a hereditary disease. It shows how being
Mr. or Ms. Nice Guy or Gal is a form of violence to yourself and others, and an
escape from a fully lived life. It takes you on a journey from the false choice
of being either a depressed doormat, or an aggressive bully, to an effective,
enlightened assertion of yourself. It provides principles and tools for
self-responsible, non-judgmental, clear and conscious honesty.
“Kelly Bryson takes his experience as a counselor and trainer for the
Centers for Nonviolent Communication(sm), adds his own wit, wisdom and humor, and
creates an entertaining expression of universal communication principles and
— Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Founder, Centers for Nonviolent Communication(sm)
Below is an article from Shape Magazine
from an interview with Kelly Bryson
Copyright © Alexa Joy
Sherman, 2005. All rights reserved.